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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

July 25, 2016 - Las Entrevistas

This picture was received from Sister Lewis - the
Mission President's wife
This week was different than usual. There were a lot of cool things that happened. On Wednesday the Mission Trainers from Salt Lake came to the mission and did a training for all the leadership in the mission. So that means Elder Harman went. I didn't get to go but instead I got to hang out with all the other Elders who are companions with a District Leader. It was pretty fun. We were in a trio for the day, so we did our studies and then went to Salvation Army and did service for the day. Service at the Salvation Army is pretty fun. We just help them box up food so they can give it away to those who come in needing that added support. 

This is Manuel. He's the 2nd counselor in the
branch presidency but just got married and will be
moving to Idaho. It's sad to see him go.
 He has a really cool conversion story, and has
been one of the strongest members since.
Then on Thursday we had interviews with President Lewis, which are always so awesome! He knows so much and is so loving and caring. This is only the second time having an interview with President Lewis because they only happen once every other transfer. So my next one won't be for a long time. Next transfer we'll have Zone Conference, which will be pretty awesome! We've still got a few weeks before that though. Next transfer doesn't start until August 16th. 

This week I got to go on two exchanges. One with the Zone Leaders and one with an Elder in our district. Exchanges are always fun. It's a good opportunity to learn from other missionaries and try to apply some of the things they do well into your own areas.  

As far as our investigators go we are still teaching Daniel and
A cool little creek we found
on exchanges.
Lucia. They are both still doing absolutely amazing. Our last lesson we had with them we talked about temples and families and at the end of the lesson they asked if we could find them a picture of the temple to put on their wall. They really have that goal of getting to the temple, but Lucia just needs to get divorced. Which is coming along pretty well I guess. She has all the paperwork figured out she just needs to get the money so she can pay for it. They're super awesome, but other than them we're still working on finding the elect people that God has prepared. 

There's been a huge push lately to work with the members and to work on finding through them and we've seen some pretty good success so far. We're excited to keep working with the Branch and help them to grow and strengthen their faith. 

That's about all for the week! I just want to leave you with my testimony really quick that I know this church is true. The longer I'm out here the more it makes sense. It just requires that step of faith, and then the testimony comes! I know stronger than ever that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that he restored Christ's same church. I know that we have a prophet today, and I know that Christ lives!! 

Love you all!!
-- 
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission

Monday, July 18, 2016

July 18, 2016 - Noche de Hogar

Wow I don't even know what to write about this week. It's gone by really fast but nothing very interesting has happened. So I'll just give you some updates on how things are going. 

I can't remember if I've talked about this before, but once a month our branch gets together for a branch family night (noche de hogar, night of home), and on Monday we had our second one. It went super well and was really neat. This time there were several non members that came with friends and family so that was pretty cool. Elder Harman and I were in charge of the lesson, and originally we had planned on having members practice giving out copies of the Book of Mormon, but with the non members there we just did a quick little improv, and just talked about why the Book of Mormon is so important. We talked about what the Book of Mormon is and then talked about how it is the most important part of our religion, and without it we wouldn't be here. The Book of Mormon is where we must focus our testimonies, because if it's true, Joseph Smith was God's prophet, and if Joseph Smith was God's prophet we have Christ's church again here on the earth. The lesson went super well, and was really spiritual. 

A little update on Daniel and Lucia. They are doing so awesome! We taught them about keeping the Sabbath Day holy, and they instantly accepted. Lucia told us that she had to work on Sunday, but then she showed up to church. It's so cool to see how ready Daniel is, and how prepared Lucia is to come back to church, but it's sad to see that something as simple as getting divorced is holding both of them back. They're working on the divorce but it's going to take time. 

Daniel has just dove into church. He loves asking questions, sharing experiences, and volunteering comments. He honestly is like a member now he just hasn't been baptized. 

I love missionary work. It is honestly one of my most favorite things I have ever done. I can't think of anything else I would rather be doing right now. I love it out here! The people are so great! I always thought it was funny that every returned missionary said that their favorite part about the mission was the people, and now I understand perfectly why they say that. 

Sorry but that's really all I've got this week. Elder Harman and I have spent a lot of time finding new people and we're trying to sort through the ones that are ready right now to receive the Gospel. 

Love you!
-- 
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission

Thursday, July 14, 2016

July 11, 2016 – Seis Meses

4th of July craziness
It's kinda weird to think that last Monday was the 4th of July. It was a super awesome P-Day. After we went in for the night we had our own little 4th of July celebration. We got some KFC and then threw a frisbee around for a little. After frisbee, we played baseball in our apartment with some foam balls and bat. It was super fun, and Elder Harman and I won in overtime! So that was super cool. It was a super fun night, kind of a nice change from the normal routine, but it was super good to get back into doing missionary work the next day. 

We've taught some pretty awesome people this week. We taught this guy named Jose Lopez and his son Brian. They both seem to have some pretty good interest. They want to learn and are very willing to listen. We've got another lesson scheduled with them tomorrow. We also taught Geraldo and Gizel again. They're pretty cool, but if they don't accept a baptismal date here soon we'll have to drop them. We also taught Socorro, who loves the idea of Christ coming to the Americas. He loved the picture of Christ with the Nephites.  

We had another amazing lesson with Daniel and Lucia this week. A pretty recent convert, Hermano Dominguez, came out with us to the lesson and bore an amazing testimony. He also said that he would be willing to do anything for them. Hermano Dominguez is getting the Melchizedek Priesthood this week, and then their family will be going through the temple soon. 


"Mega Desk" 
We've got some really cool people we're teaching and I'm really stoked for this upcoming week. Sadly last week the other two Elders in our apartment moved out, so now Elder Harman and I live alone. We have a ton more space now, but it's not quite the same. For those of you who are Office fans we had a couple extra desks so we made a Mega Desk. I'll send a pic. 

We met a guy last night who was pretty interesting. Great guy and super friendly, just had some funny ideas. He promised us that by the end of the year we would be non denominational. Then he continued by saying that he had a dream that the Hispanics were plotting to take over the world. He told us that our church was doing the right thing "recruiting" Hispanics, so that way when they take over they'll let our church be, or something like that. He also told us about a time in his life where he had more desire to eat humans than animals. His reasoning was that animals had never done anything to him and humans are mean and rude. I'm glad that phase had passed by the time we knocked on his door. It was pretty funny. He was a really awesome guy though, just had some strange ideas. 

I think that's it for the week. Love you all!!!
-- 
Elder Miles
Washington Yakima Mission


Monday, July 4, 2016

July 4, 2016 - Los Estados Unidos

Happy Birthday 'Merica!!!!


Surprisingly everyone up here in Yakima either seems to be Mexican (don't worry I'm not being racist everyone really is Mexican), or Redneck. There isn't a whole lot in between the two. 

I'm trying to think about what to tell you but I forgot my journal back at the apartment, so I'll do my best to remember what happened this week. Hopefully I don't
accidentally repeat anything. 

Umm to start it off we had our transfer calls on Saturday, but Elder Harman and I are staying together for another transfer!!! This last transfer has been super awesome! Elder Harman and I get along really well, so we're pretty stoked for another transfer together. 

After morning workouts
We taught some pretty cool people again this week. We had an awesome lesson with Daniel about Baptism. Lucia, Daniel's girlfriend, has an 8 year old boy who they want to get baptized as well. So we're gonna start working with him and help him prepare for baptism while still teaching Daniel. 

We also had another awesome lesson with Esther. It happened while we were on exchanges, so Elder Najarian and I taught her. It was a super good lesson and there was a point that blew my mind. She told us that about two months ago she was really struggling and asked God to help her out, help her know that He was looking out for her. She left to Mexico after that and made it there and back safely. At first she took this as the help she needed, but then a few days later we knocked on her door. She told us that she believes that us knocking on her door was that answer she was looking for
After playing indoor soccer
from God. It was really pretty amazing. Her struggle is just getting to church. She works on Sundays until 2 and our sacrament is last and ends at 3:20, so she's trying to find a way to change her schedule around so she can make it.

I'm trying to think if we've had any other big things happen. Mostly it's been normal missionary work. I am super grateful to be out here. I can't think of anything else I would rather be doing right now. My testimony has grown tremendously since I've come out here. I had a good testimony when I was at home but I feel like it's been strengthened 3 or 4 times as much. There are a lot of people who try to bash and
Biggest burger I've ever seen!! The size of my face!
The restaurant is called Miner's!
tell us what we are doing is a waste of time, etc, but every time I hear this I feel like the prophets in the Book of Mormon who sorrow because of the wickedness of the peopl
e. It makes me sad when people are so hard hearted. 

Today is going to be a pretty exciting 4th of July!! Elder Harman's mom sent a big package with a lot of stuff in it, and we have to be in our apartment by 6, so we're gonna throw our own little 4th of July party. Pretty excited! We also took some pretty good pics this morning. 
 
Soaking the Branch Presidency

Poor sisters!

Love you all!!!!
-- 
Elder Miles
Washington Yakima Mission